Thursday, June 11, 2015

Paper chasing and picture taking.

For the last six months Mike and I have been pulling together endless amounts of paperwork.  Well, really, Mike has been. The last adoption Mike was working full time and I was at home so the burden fell on me and I was terrible at it!  This time around since Mike is working from home with me, he has taken over the paper chase and he has been amazing at it!  He is always one step ahead of the process - knowing what we need to get and do next.  It is an answer to prayer and I have no doubt that he has heavenly help - adoption gets high priority up there! 

This week our paperwork has been in Washington D.C. at the state department and at the Chinese embassy.  When it gets back to us we will send it to our agency and after it is approved and translated it will be sent to China.  That is what we call our Dossier.   It includes every government document on us EVER - our birth certificates, wedding license, passports, medical clearances, FBI clearances, photos of us, as well as a huge home study that talks about each and every intimate detail of our family life.  

Compiling the dossier is definitely the hardest part of the adoption process - at least for us!  Once that's in everything from here moves quickly and easily.

We are also pulling together a package to send Di Hui.  Last week I finished editing a digital photo book telling him all about us and his future life here.  It was so happy to describe each of the kids and include photos of our life.  I loved telling him about how he is going to homeschool, sharing images of all of our recent trips, and filling a page with his dozens of cousins!

Once we get that back from the printers we'll close it up with a bunch of other fun things and send it to him.  I hope and pray that he can sense of the happy family he will have and the love we already feel for him!  

Sunday, June 7, 2015

New Joyful Adventures

The months after the girls came home were really difficult.  In fact, we felt like our former life had died and that we had to rebuild a new one.  So, after a few months of shock, rebuild it we did.  And the life we rebuilt was 1000 times the life we had before we adopted the girls.

About six months ago we moved across the country from Washington state to North Carolina.  With that move we had the ability to leave behind parts of us that we didn't need or like anymore.  We had the chance to change and grow.  And Esther in particular really blossomed.  

Watching that process and the healing that she underwent was incredible.  It filled me with joy, and gratitude, relief, and hope.  And it opened my heart to adopting again.  While we were in the trenches with the girls adopting again was not something we wanted to consider.  Our lives with filled with so many painful unknowns and it made us feel sick to our stomach to start that process again.  But as the girls healed and our attachment strengthened we could feel that we had more children in our family out there.  It was terrifying but also totally exciting.

So, as you may already know, we are adding two boys to the Knorpp family this fall.

The first is this cute little guy.  He turned 2 in January and we are so excited to have him in our life even if we are a little scared to go back to the toddler phase.  :)
Jude Yu Hui Knorpp

A few weeks after we accepted Jude's file and started the process we could feel that there were others and that maybe we should bring another child home at the same time as Jude.  Confirming that Mike felt that way too, I went to our agency's site and looked at the list of waiting children.  I was looking for a 4-5 year old girl but as I scrolled down I saw this face:
Daniel Di Hui Knorpp
And I knew he was a Knorpp.  I just knew it.  It was electrifying,  He was our son.  But can I tell you how terrifying that was?  A 13 year old boy!?  What were we going to do?!!!

We were so blessed that he had actually been hosted in the US for a month only weeks before we saw his photo so we could talk to his host family and find out so much more about him.  How grateful we are to them for that.  I am so grateful that they sacrificed financially and emotionally to host him in their home, getting to know him, taking photos of him, and helping us understand him so we could confidently become his parents.  We seriously love them for that.

And now here we are.  And we know that they aren't the only ones left.  In two weeks were are hosting a little girl named Xin from China for a month.  She is five - just the age that we felt we were missing.  And she has down syndrome.  I always felt I would have a child with down syndrome.  I can't say with certainty that she will be ours - but I know my heart seems to swell whenever I think about her or tell someone about her.

How do I feel? Amazing. I feel so truly blessed.   I never knew that children could bring so much joy - that watching them grow and learn and love could fill me up so completely.  I also wondered how I could love so many children!  I was afraid that my heart had a finite amount of love in it that must be split up between each child - their slices getting smaller the more we had.  I have instead found that as we add more children my heart grows exponentially larger and larger - so that each of my children gets more love from me than ever before.  I didn't expect to be so into this whole big family thing - but its become the most fulfilling blessing of my life.  GOD IS GOOD!
Until next time...